Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slowly plugging away.

Things have somewhat self-evidently been on substantial hiatus here for a while now, and that will most likely continue for a while longer.  I do miss the act of writing, and between Teh Stoopid and all the gunnie ideas there is certainly still plenty to discuss, but in the spirit of living freedom wherever possible, in preference to pining and theorizing over it, I have been making judicious use of the, uh, "extra" time, and I think that's been healthy for me.  The kids are such a blast right now, and making ends meet has continued to be a challenge, but slowly we are figuring it out...

Some days it's easier than others, but I'm trying to play the right long game.

And so, in the spirit of that thought, here is something I simply must promote, at least in principle:  helium beer.

Totally pointless.  The very definition of Because-I-Can.  Possible side benefits of mucking with voice-recognition systems...

What's not to like?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grigg is gone.

Sometimes, even God gets selfish.

If you'll forgive the crudity, this nevertheless sums it up just about perfectly:

The irony is that Grigg could have done it better without being crude.

There's a hole in the freedomverse today, and it's a big one.  I find it extremely telling that within just a few hours, I have seen more love for Will Grigg pass by my Facebook feed, than I have seen attention paid to any single person or event since I entered the TwitFace space just about ten years ago now.  It's difficult to explain how someone I never met in meatspace could become so important in my life, but anyone who spends any amount of time reading these pages will not fail to run across Grigg's name with some regularity.  I'd like to think that does not happen by accident.

I could go on and stumble for the words myself, but Dan Sanchez did a pretty fine job summing up the je ne sais quoi of Grigg's style, in an article for FEE today:

Each essay he wrote was a masterpiece of erudition and eloquence, precision and passion. He did not hurl invective. He simply described each official injustice exactly, stripped of all euphemism, as one would a crime committed by any “mundane” outside of the “punitive priesthood” and devoid of “blue privilege,” to use three of his many incisive coinages. He would illuminate the matter by drawing fascinating parallels from his expansive knowledge of history, literature, and popular culture: especially science fiction, which he loved. And he would slice to pieces the officious justifications of official victimizers with his razor-sharp reason. He was, bar none, the best writer in the liberty movement. And in his painstakingly produced podcast Freedom Zealot and his many interviews with Scott Horton, he seemed to craft final-draft prose as he spoke.

Yes, that.  All of that.  And for me, there is one other thing, too:  William Grigg was an actual living manifestation of something that is otherwise at least arguably an impossible enigma:  a true, literal Christian libertarian.  What I am usually used to is that the acceptance of God as the ultimate benign authoritarian, will ultimately and always trump the libertarian impulse at some point in the continuum;  but then somehow there was Constant Will, never budging from a libertarianism so beautifully radical it could easily be called the oh-so-naughty A-word...and yet somehow his devoutness was never in question--maybe it's because he always made it seem so personally, individually voluntary.  I found that inspiring and impressive, even alongside his more obvious stylistic brilliance.

He leaves behind a world that desperately needs him, but which seems even more desperate to ignore him.  "Those malignant bastards" do not deserve to breathe any easier for not having Will around any more, calling them out in his gloriously plain, honest language for what they are.

Somehow, in light of this terrible news, I am reminded of something I heard him say more than once:

This is a man.  Take notes.

He always said that about others--certainly worthy others--but based on everything I have learned about the man through his writing and social media presence, the sentiment is absolutely made for him.

Let me put it this way:  my own son will get the notes I have taken.

Rest in peace, Will, and thank you eternally for the attitude.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This is the TwitFace in toto.

I suppose one could try to make the point better than this, but why?  It's all there.

And what a blissful silence it would be.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Just putting this benchmark out there. Eyes, ears.

All of a sudden, the TwitFace is starting to ramp up a noticeable number of those hive-sourced, meme-driven, professionally hoplophobic nuggets of just exactly the sort that seem to happen right before something big and stupid goes down somewhere in the American soyuz, becoming suspiciously convenient fodder for just whatever the victim-disarmament crowd has recently been working on pimping.  You know, that shit that always seems so uncanny when it happens, and never seems to happen at any other time?

Of course, maybe it's nothing:  these tiresome people are always digging away at human independence;  they are nothing if not committed to their war on everyone.

Still.  The level of tone-deaf stoopid right now is beyond breathtaking, and we know for a damn fact that recent administrations are not above working "under the radar" to manufacture whatever opinion that the peasant rabble refuse to accept on their own.

So:  eyes, ears.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Actually, George...

(As seen on the TwitFace.)

I’m sure you were great on TV and all (I confess I have never been a proper Trekkie), and I’ve no reason to doubt that you have also been a personal inspiration to more than a few perfectly decent people trapped in the closet by shameful and needless sexual bigotry. Even more importantly, you have done much to shine needed light on one of American history’s darkest moments, in openly talking about your own family’s internment in WWII. (As things happened for me, I learned about that horrible exercise in genocide enablement from others, but I will always respect you specifically for swimming against the shameful tide to willfully ignore or forget it.)

But seriously, George, your snowflake comment here pretty much writes its own rejoinders. 

Since you brought it up, then, here’s a few other “the thing”s about snowflakes:
  • Snowflakes evaporate (or sublimate) and vanish completely with the simple application of hot air. (That is: they are utterly dependent upon utopian environmental conditions.)
  • Snowflakes have no minds of their own; they simply drift and fall wherever the winds may blow them. (Note that it does not matter who may supply the wind.)
  • Snowflakes are also completely unlike any living thing, in that they have no individual defenses of their own. (Not only are they not organic—they’re inorganic!)
  • Snowflakes’ entire capacity for creativity and uniqueness is expended at the point of their creation. Yes, they are formed beautiful and unique, and truly the process of crystalline self-organization is remarkable—but once the process completes, the magic is gone; there is no life. (Nor the sentience for self-awareness, much less the sapience for self-direction.)
  • Snowflakes can be artificially manufactured by machine, or deliberate cloud-seeding. (Note that whosoever does this, does so with inherent intent to create an exploitable mob.)
Look, I understand that your intention in coming to the defense of the noble snowflake, was probably to call out the notion of unintended consequences. In itself, that is a reasonably noble instinct, which I would generally applaud. But—aside from a rather juvenile delivery—do you really not recognize the fractal irony in defending the accretion of mindless, non-adaptable, easily manufacturable participants in a societal contest over “legitimate” power?

And I not only mean the overall irony, George, I mean the personal irony. It somehow seems very odd that you would make a reference such as “in large numbers become an unstoppable avalanche that will bury you”, given your own personal and family histories. I would think that you would understand, implicitly, “the thing” about “in large numbers” as it relates to human society, which is this: the relationship between empathy and “large numbers” is strongly inverse. Are you really suggesting that the only thing that matters in a societal discussion is “large numbers”? That the little guy should just suck it up lest he be bur[ied] in an avalanche? Really?

The late Aaron Zelman had a name for that sort of cognitive disconnect: bagel brain.

Friday, January 20, 2017

One last reminder before the inauguration:

Remember that there will be purpose in these promises of destructive and even violent protest (H/T Claire) around the inauguration.  And the purpose is not about actually disrupting a party, or even embarrassing the new dictator-elect.

I would argue that it's a longer-term strategy.  The Never Trump Army has invested itself way too heavily in the marketing idea that Le Coif du Orange will always, without exception, crack any head at the slightest dissent, and peaceful protests right out of the gate would not fit that narrative.

So:  in order for Mein Trumpf to appear the proper oppressor in the opening and subsequent spotlight, he needs something to oppress.  What more obvious than cracking down on "peaceful protestors" on inauguration day?

Really, it's the same logic that reminds us (thanks Kit Perez, via Claire) that if ATF really is on the chopping block (cuz...yeah, well, maybe), we should be completely unsurprised at another Operation Showtime any time now.

Sure, maybe nothing will go wrong--so many of these people are all-hat-no-cattle in the first place--but if something does:  consider the idea that "the Brownshirts" do have to be seen being Brownshirts.

Just to record the thought...

It just occurred to me that, the way Facebook is currently designed, there may yet come a future embarrassment for these legions of Never Trump Army soldiers who have spent these tiresome weeks since the election in perpetual aaaa-go-neeee, bent over their carefully staged and shamelessly public fainting couches:

Facebook "memories".  In which whatever you posted X number of years ago on this day, shows up again on your feed.

Oh, I've no doubt that many of them will rationalize away their own hyperventilations the first time or two, and at least a few will still wear 'em like a tournament badge...  No, here, I'm simply thinking about the promised relentlessness of it:  just among those people I have seen--not including the ones I've simply unfollowed--there will be a fair percentage who are going to get one of these reminders-of-the-froth-and-spittle every day for nearly two months.

If there is any sort of supreme benevolence up there, then there may be at least a few bozos out on the TwitFace who are ultimately confronted not with counterargument or disapproval, but simply the extended evidence of their own sanctimonious petulance:  "Jeez, did I really post about nothing else between November and January?"  "Yes, dear, that's right;  maybe you don't remember it, but the rest of the neighborhood sure does."

I know, it's a dream.  (But a good one, right?)  I'm sure that before that happens Facebook will dutifully change its algorithms so that special snowflakes won't be unduly embarrassed by reminders of all that stupid shit they said.

Being broke sucks: not a proper bleg, just a brief grownup whining.

Although officially employed now, a superior state of being in so many ways to the last two years, I'm still a long way from being anything better than financially broke, and the family is still bleeding it faster than I can make it.  (The bleed rate is just a lot slower now.)

One of the greatest frustrations of that greater mess is that my curtailment of shooting activities has been nearly absolute:  hell, even my basic airgunnery is sharply limited by funds.  I try to take some solace in the memory that my own father had a long, unwanted gunnery hiatus of his own, and between that and the knowledge that this-too-shall-pass, I've been able to keep an only mildly irritable peace with my present reality.

But then the damn SHOT show comes around and torques me around.

This makes little sense, really.  SHOT is about the industry and marketing, and anyone who knows my personality and preferences will recognize pretty readily that I am completely uninterested in most of what everyone else comes back crooning about.  Even the few exceptions that do pique my interest, I nearly always see either as the basis of a refinement project, or I see the niche in some completely different way than everyone else does.

It's not that, anyway.  Really it's the "because-I-can-ness" of it all.  Somehow, to me, another SHOT means people are still at it;  I may roll eyes at what I'd call silliness, but still, I must, and do, admire them there doing it.  

"Because-I-can", when you can't, is wistful and frustrating.  It takes all the fun out of having a laugh at what you could do, but choose not to.

Poo.  I miss it.

Okay, whine over.  Drink water, carry on.  (And, truly, it is just whining.  Despite all the struggling, we are having a great time with the younglets these days, and I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have that. :-)